Had he lived a decade longer, Jack Ware would now be a hundred years old. More to the point, he would have seen the fruits of a splendid vision he had back in 1982.

Civic-minded and forward-thinking, Mr. Ware was the founder of the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard, which this week distributed $173,000 in grants to Island nonprofits.

This year’s grants will help fund a memory support group at Featherstone, underwrite research about bats, support the gathering of biological data on the Edgartown Great Pond and purchase a truck for the Food Pantry, among other things. Grant applications are solicited and assessed by a group of Island-based board members and executive director Emily Bramhall.

Based on the United Way model, it is a fundraising approach that pools donations and directs modest sums of money to small but critical projects that can make a big difference.

Starting with $60,000 bequest, the Permanent Endowment has grown steadily and now has some $12 million under management. For those looking for a way to invest broadly in the future of the Vineyard, there are few more efficient ways to do so.

Thanks to Mr. Ware for his foresight, and to the donors, directors and administrators of the Permanent Endowment for making the Island a little better every year.